Sunday, September 29, 2013

Now Is (Almost) The Start

Last 3 days in the U.S. 

Which begs the question, what have I been up to this past month?
Since Cambridge doesn't start classes until October 8, I've been free of most responsibilities since the end of my summer internship. So naturally, that means a lot of TV watching and eating (and an occasional run to make sure I still knew how to run). 

Nah, I still did stuff. 
I took two trips to MIT. The first was to be a PRC in August [photo #4* - yay red cats] and help out with recruitment as an excuse to see people. I got to go to an Emeli Sande concert at the House of Blues, which was amazing. Emeli Sande's voice is so strong yet sweet and hits some crazy octaves. I also saw Wicked near the Commons at the Boston Opera House! (Watching Wicked has been a long-time goal of mine so I was smiling widely (or tearing up, naturally because of the storyline) the whole time. The next trip to Boston was over the weekend of the Career Fair, where I tried to get a job (still in progress...) and said goodbye to everyone on campus.
I also visited the Grounds for Sculptures in New Jersey with the family [photo #1]. Most of the sculptures were made by artists to create a human-scale version of some of the greatest art masterpieces (especially the Impressionist pieces like Monet's bridge and Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party").

Ok ok there were a lot of smaller trips here and there, but if I were to sum up the month more honestly, there was a lot of TV-watching and eating. (Scandal is an addicting show.) I found a few episodes ION channel marathons of Criminal Minds that occupied my time as well.
My mom also whipped up some incredible recipes while I was home. She never fails to impress me and my palette. This time I had mentioned a green tea tiramisu I had eaten in California, and so one day she casually made one on her own [photo #6], which I have to admit was way better than the original one I had eaten.
*photos are numbered 1~6 counter-clockwise starting from the upper left

Wednesday, September 4, 2013



Don't think I don't have anything to say.
I have a shit ton to say about the summer,
                                    about California, and Google...
                                    about the couple of weeks I've been at MIT before going home,
                                    about being a PRC,
                                    about realizations,
                                    about my next goals.

Mind blown. That's how I feel so far. And infinitely elated.

Breakdown of Google:
1. My team is awesome. I lucked out.
2. Google. Holy crap.
- all the perks
3. Everything works out.
- hockey
4. Random cool happenings
- high school, MIT, alum
5. I'm bad at keeping in touch with people
6. All the adventures
7. Misconceptions
8. Things I worried about that worked out fine
- marathon, people, coding, hosts, performance so far
I like company coding (!)
9. The Future
10. What I've learned so far

Breakdown of California:
1. The Weather.
2. The Food.
3. The People.
4. The Places.
5. The Mood/Music.

Breakdown of Leaving MIT soon:
1. How I'm homeless
2. How fun it is to be a PRC and the lessons I've learned
3. How worried I am of the things I'll miss
4. How weird it feels coming back

I'll touch on these things in the next few days while I have time to process and record them :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

That's a Wrap, Folks.

Sophomore spring flew by so fast. March and April, in particular, felt like three weeks. I wish it would slow down, because I know the summer will fly by and England will happen so quickly and then before you know it, I'll be a senior. In my mind, the future is a vortex and I'll on the edge of a slippery slope that leads me into it. Once you're in the future, there's no turning back.
What's normal today can be extraordinary tomorrow, so I hope I remember everything from today.

Here's a playlist I put together (in lieu of studying, of course - the only way of life) to accompany me as I pull the traditional all-nighter to pack after my finals:

Top 10 Moments of Sophomore Year:
10. My autobiography class second semester -- learned some great life lessons and it had a lot of insight
9. Studying my ass off for the 6.003 final and feeling great after walking out of the exam
8. That crazy snow day.
7. Presenting a poster at MIT Energy Night
6. Finding out I was accepted to the CME Program for next year!
and finding out some of my friends would also be participating.
5. Getting my little :)
she's cray in a good way.
4. Can't believe I'm saying this, but 6.005*
3b. My technical interview with Google - both my interviewers were so encouraging and interesting. I left the interview thinking that even if I didn't get the internship, Google is a really neat place to work and I did all I could to prepare for that interview.
3a. ...getting my internship with Google!
2. Impromptu singing sessions in my room with my roommate
-- we sang all the good ones: fun, P!nk, Coldplay, Lana del Rey...
1. Knowing that everything's going to be great. Really.

*I'll speak more on that in another post :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Life Is Good.

Just a reminder :)

There's so much good in the world so don't get stuck on the little poopy things. They'll stay poopy (unless you see the good in them too) and they'll just drag you down if you mull over them too much.

So see how good life is. Be joyful.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

I Put a Ring on It


Right after we got the ring boxes, we ran over to the closest table to put them on.

6.005 Team:

Our delivery was at Fenway - best view ever!
...until some drunk kid decided to run across the field. 

Then we were kicked into the area under the stadium :(

with Amelia :) - love this girl!


Farah! Going to England with her next year! Yeahhh Course 6.

Because we can, and this is my blog.

We all failed at putting our finger up...

We chased the Green Monster down for like 10 minutes. 
He was clearly trying to avoid us. 


Sang Hyun! I will be selling this photo for one million bucks one day. 
This girl will make history.

We're actually legit people now (or so it feels like at MIT).

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Today there was a shooting at MIT, outside of Stata. 
I had an exam that ended just an hour before the shooting, and it's crazy to think that something like that could have happened so close to home. An MIT police office passed away tonight, and my thoughts and prayers go to him and his family. The police have been doing an incredible job keeping us safe. I'm sorry that a life was lost because of it.
I couldn't help but think about the shooter himself: Just turn yourself in. Don't hurt these other people. Just stop it. 

Death is closer than I think, and I need to become more aware of the world around me and the idea of being "safe." It's good to be safe. Safety is not always guaranteed. I like being safe.

Monday, April 15, 2013

All in for Boston

(via RunRunRace)

    I volunteered at the 25th mile hydration station for the second year in a row. It was awesome at first. I got my volunteers jacket, which was a favorable yellow to last year's stark orange: 

(via eBay)

   The thrill of seeing the first wheelchair athletes appear over the hill by mile 25 was still incredible. Seeing the first female marathoner appear, so jacked, thirsty, exhausted, but with fight in her eyes, was so inspiring. Then steadily, the rest of the elites came by. The three top men were running in a pack, and we all spoke excitedly about how that was going to be a killer last mile as they ran past us toward the Citgo sign. Everything was thrilling. I couldn't believe these people looked so good after literally having run 25 miles!! I lost my voice in the first 30 minutes from shouting and cheering. 
    Two of my friends ran by (they were banditting it) and I was sooo proud of them!! Not only were they at a great pace, but they were smiling and had great energy. (I learned later that they kept a 8:40 pace. Damn.)
    Then, around 4pm, a man on a bike came by our water table and told us that they were shutting down the race because a bomb had gone off at the John Hancock building. Well, it went more like this:
"Come closer, I have to tell you something, but you have to come closer! There's been an explosion at the finish line!"
 This man had no credentials to the marathon, and was just a normal guy on a bike, so we just looked at each other and thought he was trolling us. He said that he was going ahead to inform the rest of the check-in stations, but that we should keep alert.
    Never would I have thought that he was telling the truth. We rushed to call our friends back on campus who had WiFi to ask them to check the news for us and confirm the bomb. Not only was the bomb incident real, but two bombs had gone off at the finish line. We were shocked; we hadn't heard anything. Soon volunteers were coming by, reporting that 20 people had died. And that there were more bombs going off.* We didn't know what to believe. All the while, we still had to give away water to the marathoners passing by, cheering to them that there was only one mile left.
   Our team leader called us together about 20 minutes later, and updated us on what the Marathon directors had decided to do. They were going to cut off the runners at Brookline and Kenmore to keep them away from the finish line. We would leave two water and Gatorade tables up to finish giving the current group of runners water, and pack up the rest and leave as soon as we could.
   The runners still didn't know what had happened. There was no way they could know. And so they kept running, thinking about the finish line, and hanging their hearts on the Citgo sign. When they ran by, I hesitated to say "One more mile!" and instead cheered, "This is it! You got this! All in, Boston!"
    For the group of runners who were stopped at Kenmore or Brookline, I am extremely sorry that the Marathon wasn't the way you imagined it would be this year. I can't imagine what it's like running the 25 miles, prepared to kick it in in the last mile and give it all you got, just to find out that you can't and they put a wall in front of you. It sucks (to say the least). But know that someone had it worse, and had to witness and experience some terrible things at the finish line.
   I can't believe someone would ruin something as inspiring as the Boston Marathon, an event that has historically brought people together. Today, I saw a Japanese and a Brazilian man running side by side and when they saw the Citgo sign, the Brazilian man gave the Japanese man a thumbs up expression and a "We got this?" expression to which the equally exhausted Japanese man returned with an assertive nod. It was awesome, and such a great moment for brotherhood and humanity. These moments happen all the time on this magical day of grueling physical and emotional test and city (and worldwide) celebration. All of Boston is packed with people, brimming with excitement and voices hoarse from cheering for people they don't know. Seeing someone with a shirt from their hometown makes them feel like the runner is their long-lost best friend. People jump in to run by their friends for the final miles, and they allow random people like us to volunteer and stand inches away from the runners themselves. All of this is built off of trust in each other and the concept of coming together to celebrate the athletes' hard work. But because of one person or group's actions, the runner's dream has been tainted with a feeling of fear and unsettlement.
   But even though the explosions occurred, Boston wasn't any slower in reaching out to help. Runners were stranded with nowhere to go, and locals brought out water and food to give to them. The temperature was falling, so many runners had borrowed jackets to cover themselves. MIT frats were winding down their Marathon Monday parties, but they offered their homes and leftovers to passersby. My group bumped into a marathoner who was trying to locate her family, and we walked her over to Storrow Drive. There was a Google Doc online for people to offer up space in their homes for visitors who had no place to go because of the delayed flights and shut down public transportation. Google put together a PeopleFinder to help families locate their loved ones, since Boston basically had no cellular reception because of the overwhelming number of calls/texts trying to be made. The people in Boston are why I love Boston. They are passionate and so proud of the city they call home. Boston is a city, but it feels more like a small town sometimes. 
   I thought this essay did a good job at thought-processing.
   The Boston Marathon is still epic. It's still beloved by the world. The people who run it are still my heroes. Today will be a day we remember, but it doesn't affect the magic of the Boston Marathon and how it brings the city together. We are Boston, and we look out for one another through it all.

*Thankfully, these were rumors and not true after all. But the current information is still tragic: there are reportedly two deaths and at least 64 injured, some being amputee injuries.

EDIT: and this article

EDIT^2: The last update is that there were three deaths and at least 260 people with injuries.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Some of that Boston pride

This is one of the funniest, most endearing things I've read in a while.

Boston Pride!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Noon Kids on the Block

Today I had the opportunity to run my own program on MIT's WMBR radio station from noon to 1pm. 
Earlier this week, I bumped into a TA (who's actually the program director for WMBR*) from last semester and he mentioned that I should join the radio station. I didn't want to commit to it at the time because I was in 6 classes, but a spot opened up for one show and I couldn't resist.
It was so much fun, and I got to learn how to crossfade my own tracks and be okay with screwing up while on air with actual people listening.

The link to the mp3 archive is here:

I spent the hour playing some of my favorite songs and musing about them. I definitely made a few mistakes, like pressing the wrong track key and therefore not having anything playing at one point. I also had two songs playing at one point because I forgot to turn the other off. Or saying I was going to play one song and playing another by accident (you'll hear it haha).

But it was great fun and apparently I made surprisingly few mistakes for a newbie, so if I had the chance to radio in again, I'd take it in a heartbeat :)

I didn't end up making the tracklist for it until 4am the night before, but I like music so I didn't mind staying up late. 

Here was my intended tracklist for the program (though I had to improvise and cut a few during the actual thing):
  • Charlie Brown (Coldplay)
  • Sovereign Light Cafe (Keane)
  • Don't Leave Me [Ne Me Quitte Pas] (Regina Spektor)
  • Why Am I the One (fun.)
  • From Finner (Of Monsters And Men)
  • Not Your Fault (AWOLNATION)
  • Barton Hollow (The Civil Wars)
  • Breathe In Breathe Out (Mat Kearney
  • Winter Winds (Mumford & Sons)
  • One Night (Timeflies)
  • Stubborn Love (The Lumineers)
  • Shake It Out (Florence + The Machine)
  • Human (The Killers)
  • Living in the Moment (Jason Mraz)
  • Don't Look Back (She & Him)
  • Demons (Imagine Dragons)
  • Toothpaste Kisses (The Maccabees)
  • Sunday Morning - Demo Version (Maroon 5)
  • Feel Again (OneRepublic)
  • Rumour Has It (Adele)

There was a caller 10 minutes into the show who called in to ask what my show was called (I didn't have a name for it) and commented that he liked the show, which was cool. A lady called at the end of my show to ask what "the song before the song by Jason Mraz was with the singer singing 'love' over and over again at the end of the song" (turned out to be "Stubborn Love" which she said was the most beautiful song ever. The station records showed that there were about 45 people listening to my show online and probably more through actual radio (SO COOL). I don't know why anyone would keep the station on after I effed up so much in the beginning, but props to them. They have great music taste.

*WMBR stands for "Walker Memorial Basement Radio" because that's where the station is located. Had no idea about that til this week...the hidden gems you find at MIT!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ring Premiere 2013

The validation of all our hard work so far is here: the Brass Rat.

Ring Premiere was Friday, February 15th (sorry it's a bit late...) at Kresge Auditorium and the design for this year was revealed.

I'm pretty excited, even though some design elements were "eh." However, they managed to sneak in the 148th Pokemon, which the child Pokemon card collector in me was won over by.

My second favorite part is the Class Shank on our ring: 

Right under the "2015," there are two hackers who stole the "C" and the "I" from the roman numerals on the dome, leaving behind "MMXV" which is "2015." Clever.

Third best part (maybe the best part for some other people), is that our Ring Delivery will take place at Fenway Park!!

image from wikimedia

Now every time I see an upperclassmen or alum with their brass rat, I catch myself just staring at it for a ridiculously long time and subconsciously raising my right hand up to envision their brass rat on my hand. I'm pretty sure the other person notices, and probably becomes very creeped out (for lack of a phrase closer to the truth). But I honestly don't care because soon enough, I will have my own brass rat to shit on my life. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm an OxyMoron.

Today, I looked over some of my previous blog posts. Then, out of shameful realization, I stood up to bang my forehead (lightly haha) against the wall of my room.


Compare my October post to a recent February post.

Yeah...who the f*** do I think I am??

One day I'm proudly proclaiming being the Course 6 hipster triumphing alternative energy and the next second I sell my soul to become another Noogler. Oy.

Baby Lohan: What are you doing girl??

A few days ago, I found myself finishing my work up at 2am and, instead of jumping straight to sleep, sitting up and staring at the Boston skyline and the cars zipping across the Harvard bridge... and just thinking. Well, not just thinking, but stressing about the future. 

You know how I said I would stop regretting? Well it was like the f***ing reservoir of regrets busted open and flooded every nerve in my brain. Every classification of philosophical thought was exposed to my self-doubting mind. Who am I? What the hell am I doing? Will I just become a code monkey? But I thought I was going towards the EE side? Why am I doing a CS internship and then going to study EE at Cambridge? Why am I going to Cambridge? I'll miss out on all the entrepreneurship initiatives I wanted to explore on campus! What do I want to do my junior year summer? What if I just become one of those "social" engineers? Fixing small problems and not worrying about the waay cooler bigger problems that are hanging over our world like a cloud that is so massive that it makes you think it's actually just the sky and ignorantly live the rest of your days. Ughhhhh. Nooooo. I'll stop Google and just stay at my lab. All of those people are so smart so what they're choosing to do is obviously the smart thing to do right? Wait, I've been so excited about Google and I'm going to learn so much while I'm there. But how will it help shape me to be someone who can make big things happen? Gah. It's already 2:33am -- why am I doing this now? Wow this pillow's really soft. No, focus! No, this is stupid wallowing in self-regret in the middle of the night. Okay fine, good. night. Ugh. 

...followed by a restless sleep. 

So that's my state of mind right now. The bigger me knows this is all very STUPID thinking and that I should be grateful for the opportunities I have and embrace the decisions I make. So it goes. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Snowpocalypse of 2013

Last weekend, Boston got hit with an epic 24.9 inches of snow from Nemo! It was the most incredible three-day weekend ever (since we got Friday off) and I had a BLAST. Here are some photos either from MIT's website or from my friends' camera of our adventures that weekend:

First, I went outside with my friend and roommate at 2:30 am after the blizzard to make our mark in the fresh powder snow. The view (or lack thereof) of Boston was breathtaking. 
Everything just merged into one great whiteness.

The next day, there was an epic campus-wide snowball fight!

Even President Rafael Reif came for an appearance.

There was a whole day when vehicles were prohibited from traveling 
so it made pedestrian life much more casual. 

(aka "Cars Only" my ass.)

Mass Ave was deserted.

So some people skied to get to Point B...

Or just as an alternative to running a bridge loop.

The Charles had these huge cracks between the sheets of ice that covered it.
The ice would move and widen and narrow the cracks in a slow rhythm that made it seem like the Charles was breathing in its lazy slumber.

Snow babies. Ya know.

There were just some huge chunks of ice covered in snow.

Our beloved Maseeh.

Casually lying on the frozen Charles river.

Our sailing pavilion looked so tiny from the amount of snow that covered the dock.

It's incredible to look at the contrast between the snow-covered Boston and the sea.


I didn't use my bike for a while after that...

It was really hard to make snow angels in the fluffy snow. 
We kind of just sank into it and didn't couldn't get back up.

Stop hoarding our snow!

Um. A scantily clothed snow-woman.

Winter makes great artwork.

A photo from my friend when she went to the North End. 
Isn't this EPIC?

Weather definitely unites people, and for one weekend, it didn't matter what group you usually hung out with -- the snow brought the campus together. 
I've always been a snow kind of girl. White Christmas. Building snow furniture on my birthday. 

This is one of the top reasons why I never see myself moving to somewhere like Florida or SoCal for the rest of my life.